BH JOURNALISTS: Decision on the Off The Record award is made by the jury of this event

Banja Luka/Sarajevo, May 27, 2024. –  Steering Committee of the Association of BH Journalists would like to inform  BH public that it did not participate in the announcement of the competition, the selection of the best journalist and the awarding of the Banja Luka Journalists’ Club award as part of the Off The Record event, which was held in Banja Luka on Friday, May 24, 2024.  Also, Steering Committee of BH Journalists resolutely rejects any kind of pressure on the association and individuals, especially the spread of hate speech, misinformation and incitement via social networks.

Since the establishment of  ,,Off The Record” event in 2013, which was an idea of ​​ the Club of Journalists Banja Luka, it was under  complete responsibility of the Club itself, from the creation of  competition aswell as the invitation for journalists to participate, through development and adoption of the rules for giving awards to the jury and selection of the best journalist from Banja Luka.  Independence of  Banja Luka Club in organizing the event and choosing the best journalist is part of the democratic and decentralized understanding of freedom of expression, freedom of action and work of BH journalists. Such an approach was a part of  mutual respect within the Steering Committee of the association and trust that the leadership of  Banja Luka Journalist Club organizes and manages this event with the aim of gathering journalists, solidarity and strengthening professional dialogue amongst  journalists of this city.

We share with the BiH public the fact that, according to  rules of the Off the Record event, the jury, which consists of award-winning journalists from previous years, decides completely independently to whom it will give an award the best journalist, without the Club of Journalists Banja Luka and its management having any say in it, any influence whatsoever.

With an aim of calming the whole situation and reducing divisions in the journalistic community, the president of the Club of Journalists Banja Luka Siniša Vukelić and the secretary of the Club Ljiljana Smiljanić decided to submit their resignations. The Steering Committee of BH Journalists will soon appoint an acting coordinator for the Club of Journalists Banja Luka until a new leadership is elected.

Smiljanic and Vukelic have also submitted their resignations from membership in the Steering Committee of BH Journalists, which will be decided by the members of the Steering Committee at their next session.

Steering Committee of BH Journalists.

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